It’s a diner — it says so right in the name — but a greasy spoon, this is not.
Royal Rose Diner is on the northwest corner of University Drive and Memorial Parkway, in the former Bennigan’s and Beauregard’s location. Royal Rose is a full service diner offering a broad range of cuisines, including breakfast anytime. Executive chef George Kontoulakos refers to this breadth as a “New York-style diner” experience, and quality is top priority. Meats and vegetables are never frozen, and most everything is prepared in-house daily.
Could We Have a Couple of Hours With the Menu, Please?
Royal Rose has the single largest restaurant menu I have ever seen in my life. Even allowing for the usual broadness of a diner menu, the variety here is staggering. Going out for a family dinner and you want a burger, your spouse wants seafood, one kid wants pasta, and the other wants wings? Done. How about you want Greek, your spouse wants breakfast, one kid wants a steak, and the other wants pork chops? Done.
When we go out and I’m reviewing a restaurant for Rocket City Mom, I try hard to encourage everyone to get something different so we get the broadest range possible of offerings. However, there are only four of us, and there may well be 250 entrees on this menu. So, even though we each did get something different, “broad range” is a relative term here.
Lunches begin in the $6 range, with the top dinner offerings like Surf ‘n’ Turf still coming in under $30. After we placed our order, we received a small loaf of yeasty bread, with both packaged butter and house-made dill butter. The bread reminded me of the homemade rolls I had in my grade school cafeteria (which is high praise in this case). Lea’s salad also arrived in this timeframe, appealingly plated and made with fresh vegetables.
The Royal Rose Verdict
Lea was complimentary of her fried cod, pronouncing it fresh and appealingly crispy. (When a place is pitching you seafood right up front someone needs to get it, right?) She said she would go back for it. Nathan’s gyro was traditionally prepared with beef and lamb, and it vanished quickly. Aaron’s pancakes and bacon met with his complete approval. I got my “indicator burger” — a bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise, and pickle. It was obviously cooked on demand, arrived medium as requested, and with fresh toppings. None of it survived.
Dessert offerings included several cheesecakes, as well as assorted tortes and cakes. The four of us split the chocolate torte and a generous wedge of Creamsicle cake. Both were suitably decadent, and large enough to make our decision to share them a good one.
Our service was ideal; attentive, but never hovering. It is a full service experience except that they check you out at the front.
Just for Kids
The children’s menu is for diners under 10. Breakfast offerings include eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Lunch/dinner meals include burgers, macaroni & cheese, chicken tenders, spaghetti, and more. Children’s menu meals are in the $4-7 range, with drinks included. Lunch/dinner also includes a single scoop of ice cream. For smaller ones, both booster seats and highchairs are available. The restrooms are clean, and each one contains a changing table.
We have only been once, but on that trip, Royal Rose did a great job of being all things to all people, bolstered with impeccable service. Moreover, it is eminently reasonable, particularly for such a high-quality experience. An entrée and drink for each of us, as well as two shared desserts, came in at just $69 before tip.
Incredible variety, affordability, and extensive family-friendly offerings should put Royal Rose on your short list of family dinner destinations.